It doesnít take a genius to be able to see the benefits of reading aloud. And, it doesnít take a professional actor to be able to read aloud to children. Yet most adults spend little time reading aloud to children, even their own children.
Why not? Why donít we dads spend more time reading aloud to children? The main excuse we adults make is, ďIím too busy,Ē usually said with an exhausted, harried look of our faces. But, what are we so busy doing: watching TV, reading the newspaper, surfing the internet, trying to make a few more dollars, or spending time with our friends?
Canít dads spare 15-20 minutes a day to enjoy the magic of reading with a child? We live in an increasingly impersonal world, a place where we often know more about TV characters, pop stars, and famous athletes than we do about the person living next-door or working at the next desk, sometimes more even than we know about the people living in the same home with us.
Reading aloud offers a path towards connecting with others. As we read and as we use the book as a tool to dialogue with children or even another adult who is listening too, we, the readers, share about ourselves and learn about the people we are reading to, as they in turn share with us. The bonds we build through this sharing are, indeed, worth their weight in gold.
So, go ahead, give it a try. Try to make reading aloud to a child a daily habit, even if at first, itís only for 5-10 minutes. We guarantee you wonít regret it.
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It's fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including "The Read Aloud Guide", textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children's storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.